28/4/18. Whitewater Draw. Just after sunrise by the pond: orioles, thrashers.

Just after dawn I set up by the pond; facing east to the sunrise, over the pond.   I was on a berm that surrounds the pond and allows people to walk around and see and enjoy the birds both in the pond, and also outwards/westwards where the winter visitors, the cranes, come in vast numbers (but are, by now, gone).

It was quite magical.  Colourful birds flitted in and out of the scrubby willow trees that surround the large pond.   They would sit very briefly on a high twig/branch and then fly out quickly to collect insects; then back again to the twig.   Identification was very difficult.  One bird, not quite so timid as the others was prominent, and this was the little yellow Wilson’s Warbler with its jet black eyes and black patch on its (male) head.  Another was mostly black, about the size of a UK blackbird, with a burgundy red breast and underwings.  It was particularly acrobatic in its search for insects.   Still another was strikingly bright yellowish/orange mixed with other colours – but it moved too quickly and flew off some distance – I think it was an oriole of some kind.   And, also all around were a few red-winged blackbirds; just as I had seen in the reedbeds in Anahuac (Texas).


The recording also captures the sound of the water being pumped into the pond area.

Late in the recording, around 22 minutes I was surprised by the announcement of a curved-bill thrasher.  I had seen heard these closer to Sierra Vista; they have a very distinctive and loud “wheet-wheet” call.   What a wonderful, and natural wakeup call for 6:30am!

And the recording ends (around minute 26) with a long beautiful song from what must be an oriole; I just don’t know which one.




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